In this episode we discuss how to become a “superconnector." We look at the idea that networking is not about tactics, it’s about a fundamental shift in how you think about interacting with people. We examine how to break free from the lazy and shallow networking that social media often creates, discuss why you should never ask “how can I help?”, look at the power of curiosity and asking better questions and much more with our guest Scott Gerber.
Scott Gerber is CEO of The Community Company and founder of Young Entrepeneur’s Council. He is also an internationally syndicated columnist, the co-author of Superconnector and the author of Never Get a “Real” Job. Scott has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg and has even been honored by White House.
How do we cut through the quagmire of endless linked-in connections, twitter followers and more?
Self awareness is one of the key attributes of super connectors
Rather than being authentic, we are being internet authentic - social media conscious
We have to reverse course away from the lazy networking of social media
Providing real signal, being human, allowing your humanity to show through - amplify your humanity
We have conflated the idea of connection with being connected
We live under the illusion that vanity metrics determine social status
Step one is the cultivation of emotional intelligence
Focus on being of service to others
Networking is not about tactics, its about a fundamental shift in how you think about interacting with people
One of the key principles to networking is that you have to be a real, authentic human
What kind of service / value do you want to bring to a community of peers?
Failure is often a result of not building your relationships and communities
Come from a true place of wanting to help others first
Don’t be a “networker":
Out for yourself
Wolf in sheeps clothing
We don’t live in a tactics world - we’ve created one
Get back down to the basics - guru nonsense, marketing hucksters etc are full of it
A connector thinks about - what questions / context do I need to ask that this person is not giving me, so that I can figure out how to play a role to help them in succeeding in life or business - where I can be helpful?
Focus on actually being helpful instead of just asking “how can I help you?”
Why asking “How Can I Help” is the Worst Question
You put the onus on the other person to tell a stranger how they can help
Directionally it provides no guidance
It shows you don’t care - because if you actually wanted to help, you would be curious, keep asking questions, to come up with a thesis and then say “here are some ways I CAN help, proactively”
Offer actual assistance, not the platitude that you can help
It’s the new social script - but it has no meaning or value
You MUST ask better questions. The best connectors are curious.
Most people like to talk about how obvious things are, but they never actually implement it.
Great question - “what does success look like for you?” “what are the steps you need to take to get there”
How to cultivate curiosity and ask better questions
Start with auditing your conversations
Be curious about the other person
Figure out questions that you want to ask people
Most introverts are better connectors in many cases
Listen!! Sometimes shutting up is the best thing you can do as a connector
Should you go to networking events? Before you do, you need to “select your pond” more effectively
Great questions to figure out context for how to talk to people
What are challenges your facing right now in your business / life?
What’s a major strength or major win you’ve had recently?
Put yourself into a space where you're comfortable is a key component of effective networking
A lot of content today is “thought leadership garbage” - metric driven traffic with a goal in mind
You can’t force a personal brand - if you suck at creating content or your content is “networker-esq” - you have to figure out if you’re a creator of content or a curator
Place yourself at the center - building walled-off access to the people and things that matter will eventually be the “keys to the kingdom”
Those who are able to curate the right people together, to create thriving communities beyond just the founder are going to be the most powerful from a social capital, profitabilabilty, etc level
Technology is meant to amplify humanity and not cheat it
Create a safe space, creative collective value not just 1 on 1 value